First Advisor

Michael Bartlett

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors






Chemokines, Carcinogenesis, Tumors -- Growth, Cancer




It has become widely accepted that chronic inflammation is correlated with cancer. An important aspect in this relationship is the microenvironment established by inflammation and characterized by the production of small molecules known as cytokines and chemokines. One such chemokine, CCLZO, is a Th17 specific chemokine essential for Th17 activation. Although the contribution of Th1 and Th2 in carcinogenesis have been well established, Th17's role in cancer development has yet to be identified. In this study, we provide first experimental evidence regarding the functional role of CCL20 in turmorigenesis that can shed light onto Th17's function in cancer. We generated a tumor cell line with an inducible expression of CCLZO. An in vivo tumorigenesis study was carried out with the CCLZO inducible cell line and we found that when CCLZO was over expressed, it lead to a general trend of increased tumor size. It was also discovered that CCL20 expression is present throughout cancer development, but is most consistently expressed at the beginning stages of progression. CCL20 expression could produce a microenvironment that is favorable for tumor growth and Th17's may function to support cancer progression.


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